A PORT FOR YOUTH
Daphné Mailloux-Rousseau, executive director, and her team work to get kids interested in life, then society and finally, school.
What L’Ancre des Jeunes does is a thousand miles away from school intervention programs. Young people between the ages of 9 and 20 who are registered for one of six programs have access to a disciplined living environment and psychosocial support adapted to their needs.
A “capable” teen
When kids come into the organization, it’s often because they seem to have lost all hope.
“I came because I was depressed,” said Raja, age 15. “I hadn’t been to school in several months.”
Individual interactions offer kids both useful tools and constructive feedback that emphasizes their successes to strengthen their self-esteem and transform their feelings of competence.
This creates a relationship of trust with an adult, sometimes one of the first for these kids. “We’re not aiming for success in school,“ said Mailloux-Rousseau. “There’s a bigger and more urgent need: believing in society and its abilities.”
“Without L’Ancre, I definitely wouldn’t be here today,” said Sammy, age 15. “I changed schools four times, had no confidence in myself; my grades were in the bottom 1% and I just wasn’t motivated.”
Kids and families
L’Ancre des Jeunes also provides support to families, in exchange for a certain mobilization.
“Our kids don’t always come from dysfunctional families, but they often come from distraught families,” said the executive director. “They don’t understand teens, or the school system. Most of all, they never developed a relationship of trust towards institutional resources.”
The human approach can help families and kids find help, whatever their motivations are. And the results are great, with a 90% rate of return to school.
“I can’t thank them enough for helping me finish primary and part of my secondary,” said Jessica. “Thanks to everyone at L’Ancre, and keep up the good work!”
JE VOIS, JE FAIS
L’Ancre des Jeunes is one of the projects launched by Je vois Mtl, which later became Je fais Mtl. This powerful citizen movement aims to give new momentum to the city.